Suffolk

Wickham candidate's BNP link leads to UKIP expulsion

A UKIP candidate standing in the Suffolk council elections was expelled from the party because of former links with the British National Party (BNP).

Alan Ryall, who is standing in Wickham Market, told UKIP party officials that he was once in the BNP.

Spokesman Stuart Gulleford said Mr Ryall's party membership had been "terminated" because "we do not allow BNP members to be in UKIP".

It is too late for Mr Ryall's name to be removed from the ballot paper.

'Sign declaration'

Mr Gulleford said: "It's in our constitution that if you've previously been a member of the BNP you can't be a UKIP member, therefore his membership is terminated."

He added that all the party's candidates have to sign a declaration that they have not been members of the BNP.

When Mr Gulleford spoke to Mr Ryall about this he said "he was vague about when he joined UKIP" but acknowledged once being a member of the BNP.

Mr Ryall's name will remain on the ballot paper because the discovery came after the closing date for withdrawals.

If he is elected on Thursday, he will be an independent councillor and not represent UKIP, Mr Gulleford confirmed.

Mr Ryall has not returned the BBC's calls.

The other county council candidates standing in the Wickham division are: Jeremy Bale for Labour, John Ball for the Liberal Democrats and Michael Bond for the Conservatives.

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